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Walls rise on home for family burned out by Almeda fire

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneHector and Priscilla Rodriguez (in window frame) help raise the first wall of their new home being built by Habitat for Humanity in Medford on Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneHector and Priscilla Rodriguez, with their family, give out thanks for all the help with their new home being built by Habitat for Humanity in Medford on Saturday.
Habitat for Humanity celebrates home building

Habitat for Humanity hosted a wall-raising Saturday to celebrate work on the third home for its Almeda Homeownership Program.

The latest home is on land between Medford and Phoenix that was burned over by the 2020 Almeda fire. The fire destroyed 2,500 homes from northern Ashland to the southern outskirts of Medford.

“It is an incredible opportunity to reclaim this burnt land, to build on it again for families that lost everything in the fire and from this tragedy, and make someone’s dream of home ownership come true. It is truly full circle,” said Denise James, executive director for Habitat for Humanity.

The Rodriguez family is the third of four families selected for the first phase of the Almeda Homeownership Program. All the participating families lost their rental units and belongings in the fire, Habitat for Humanity said.

The families work alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers to build the homes. They also complete a comprehensive education curriculum to prepare them for a successful journey toward fulfilling their dreams of becoming home owners.

Each family is required to volunteer for 500 hours of labor and save a small down payment. At the end, they purchase the home via an affordable 30-year mortgage provided by Habitat for Humanity.